Sample Essay on Business Process Management: Launch Pad Phase

Launchpad phase is the stage that integrates all the ten steps of implementing a business process management (BPM) project. The success in executing a project relies on the plan, and the execution starts as early as the conception of the idea. How to start, proceed and end form the launch pad phase (Jeston & Nelis 2006, p.54). Thus, it forms the platform because it’s the proposed guideline of how the change will occur. One of steps included in the phase is communications. It is the step where the people are informed of the proposed changes and strategies. For successful implementation, stakeholders should understand the process as well as the individual role and impact of the project. Such information enables stakeholders to own the proposed ideas or even contribute to the proposals. A strategy-driven BPM project can involve changes, and the roles of the individuals need to be communicated for them to know how they will be involved in the changes(Jeston & Nelis 2006, p.100-101). In addition reasons for the need to change should also be known by the stakeholders.

Analysis of the process architecture enables the start point to be identified and the scope of the BPM project to be defined.  The issues that need to be laid down include: definition and engagement of the stakeholders, setting of the goals and rules, implementation strategy, the scope of the project, measurement and evaluation of the process, project management and setting the initial business case. The approach selected depends on the particular BPM project and the uniqueness of the organization. However, a launch pad phase has the following essential steps in the next paragraph.

The ten steps of applying launch pad phase include;
  1. Communication

Since stakeholders are the implementers, effective, appropriate and timely communication is necessary. It ensures that people own the BPM project, avoids unnecessary tension and resistance (Jeston & Nelis 2006, p.102).

  1. Initial Key Stakeholders Interviews

The step entails discussing the BPM project with the key internal business stakeholders who include the top management and administrators. It’s a brief process aimed at ensuring that a good rapport is created (Jeston & Nelis 2006, p.104).

  1. High-level Process Walkthrough

The purpose of this step is to familiarize the initial members of the project of any technical aspects that may not be known to all (Jeston & Nelis 2006, p.104).

  1. Stakeholder Identification and Engagement

Stakeholders are people who have a stake in the project. It is paramount to ensure that all stakeholders are aware of the project for smooth implementation, and for ownership and adoption of the process (Jeston & Nelis 2006, p.104).

  1. Executive Workshops

It is during these forums when the models of the processes are created, scope of the project is defined and agreed, goals are identified, evaluation procedures and metrics are developed. Also, individual business processes are identified, and stakeholders are also categorized in the workshops (Jeston & Nelis 2006, p.105).

  1. Develop Implementation Plan

In order to realize optimal benefits of the proposed change, an effective plan is vital, otherwise, time can be wasted or the process fails due to a wrong implementation plan (Jeston & Nelis 2006, p.114).

  1. Develop/Sign-off Business Case

It has the same content to common business case but with additional information. It contains the pros and cons of available options for implementation process (Jeston & Nelis 2006, p.116).

  1. Define and Establish Project Team Structure

It is a configuration of the roles played by various people involved in project implementation (Jeston & Nelis 2006, p.117).

  1. Complete Initial Project Plan

The implementation plan has to comprehensively cover the understand phase. It ensures that the details of the project are clearly articulated to the stakeholders for smooth start and progression.

  1. Value Realization and Contingency

The expected benefits should be identified and outlined as well as emergencies(Jeston & Nelis 2006, p.121).

The risks involved in the launchpad phase include failure to thoroughly consider the steps outlined above. Firstly, stakeholders are the gatekeepers of change, and therefore in any BPM project of change, they need to be involved in implementation (Smart et al. 2009, 15).  Identifying and engaging all is very important. Lack of proper communication can lead to failure in accomplishing certain tasks. Consequently, frustration team members and a tendency to resist change are bound to occur. An effective project manager enables the project to be implemented with minimal flaws. If the manager has no experience, there is risk of not realizing the perceived benefits or even collapse of the project. For example, lack of proper communication procedures can break the team.  The manager should seek the assistance of HR or communication specialists to ensure that the people involved are fully updated with the necessary information (Bandara et al.2009, p.7). The scope of the project should be well defined with consideration of the available resources and time as well as the intended goals. Failure to have clear scope can lead to exhaustion and misuse of resources and prolonged timeframe (Jeston & Nelis 2006, p.122). In addition, lack of sufficient funding can occur, therefore, it is important to ensure funds are available before commencing the project. Lastly, there is the inherent risk of people resisting change. In such situation early identification of people’s reluctance should be handled before start, and urgent decisions made to avoid sabotage of duties or low performance. Since risks are many including external effects to the business, adequate mitigation strategies should be in place to avoid collapse of the business.

References

Jeston, J. & Nelis, J. 2006. Business Process Management: Practical Guidelines to Successful Implementations.Burlington, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Bandara, W., Alibabaei, A. & Aghdasi, M. 2009. “Means of achieving business process management success factors”. In Proceedings of the 4th Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems. Department of Management Science & Technology, Athens University of Economics and Business.

Smart, P. A., Maddern, H. & Maull, R. S. 2009. “Understanding business process management: implications for theory and practice”. British Journal of Management, vol. 20,